UN Women: Programme Specialist, Gender and Humanitarian Action

Application Deadline :14-Feb-13 (Midnight New York, USA)
Type of Contract :TA International
Post Level :P-4
Languages Required :
Duration of Initial Contract :364 Days


UN Women, grounded in the vision of equality enshrined in the Charter of the United Nations, works for the elimination of discrimination against women and girls; the empowerment of women; and the achievement of equality between women and men as partners and beneficiaries of development, human rights, humanitarian action and peace and security.

In undertaking its mandate to support “existing coordination mechanisms to generate a more effective United Nations system-wide humanitarian response to respond to the specific needs of women and girls…” UN Women seeks to complement and enhance the capacity of other UN entities to serve their respective mandates and deliver on gender equality and women’s empowerment. 

Based on UN Women’s new Humanitarian Strategy, the Humanitarian Unit develops and implements the programme of work on research, analysis and knowledge management and provides   guidance, technical and strategic support to intergovernmental processes, the UN System and to UN Women staff working at country and regional level on issues of gender equality and women’s empowerment in disaster risk reduction/preparedness, emergency response and recovery. Furthermore, the Humanitarian Unit leads capacity development, coordination and advocacy efforts for a coherent approach on gender mainstreaming in humanitarian action and its linkage and synergy with sustainable development.

The scope of work of the Programme Specialist requires experience and in-depth understanding of gender equality and women’s empowerment issues, as well as expertise on humanitarian issues to translate UN Women`s strategic plans into results. It also requires developing mutually reinforcing partnerships with member states, civil society, regional institutions and the international humanitarian system, including relevant UN entities and bilateral donors to enhance awareness, commitment, visibility and resources to advance gender equality and women's empowerment.

The Programme Specialist reports to the Gender and Humanitarian Action Advisor, who provides the strategic leadership, guidance and oversight of the Humanitarian Unit and the formulation and execution of its programmes and operations. Under the overall guidance of the Gender and Humanitarian Advisor, the Programme Specialist will provide technical and advisory support to the humanitarian system, the UN system as well as UN Women regional and country offices and relevant units in headquarters such as Programme and Partnership Divisions. She/he will also work closely with the Gender and Humanitarian Action Programme Analyst and the Peace and Security Cluster in New York.

Duties and Responsibilities

Under the overall supervision of the Gender and Humanitarian Action Advisor, the Programme Specialist will have the following functions:

Summary of Key Functions:
  • Technical advisory support and results-based management.
  • Coordination, partnership and resource mobilization support.
  • Evidence-based advocacy and communication.
  • Capacity-building and knowledge management
Description of Functions:

Technical  Advisory Support and Results Based Management:

  • Support in the development of the formulation of policy guidance and practice notes on humanitarian action.
  • Facilitate the implementation of the Humanitarian Strategy by supporting financial management and reporting, tracking and analyzing progress on achievement of the objectives and results, and proposing adjustments and solutions to ensure all reporting requirements are met.
  • Draft input for intergovernmental and UN reports on disaster preparedness, humanitarian response and recovery.
  • As designated, contribute to and facilitate for senior management support on UN Women’s engagement in humanitarian action.
  • Develop tools and implement capacity-building training activities to enhance staff’s skill and knowledge of humanitarian system on gender mainstreaming in disaster preparedness, humanitarian response and recovery.
  • Support UN Women field offices, through direct or remote technical and programmatic advice, on gender equality programming in humanitarian action, including disaster risk reduction, disaster preparedness and early recovery activities.
  • Support the development and implementation of specific flagship technical projects as appropriate to UN Women's Humanitarian Strategy.
  • Contribute to and support the facilitation of regular reviews and assessments of regional and country programming on humanitarian issues.
  • Support the development and implementation of programme approaches and modalities in line with UN Women’s Humanitarian Strategy that provide value added for UN Women in the humanitarian area both at HQ level and in the field
Coordination, Partnership and Resource Mobilization Support:
  • Support and develop UN Women’s engagement in existing inter-agency coordination mechanisms and enhance coherence of UN system in promoting gender equality concerns in humanitarian response.
  • As designated, participate in and support relevant inter-agency and inter-governmental forums and UN system-wide inter-agency tasks forces, notably the IASC, the GenCap.
  • Steering Committee, the IASC Sub-Working Group on Gender and Humanitarian Action, the GBV AoR, donor conferences and others.
  • Support the development of partnerships with member states and non-governmental partners for key programming initiatives and build synergies for effective gender equality programming and advocacy.
  • Support the identification and development of strategic partnerships and alliances at the country level to promote gender equality and women's advancement through joint projects and interagency efforts.
  • As designated, in consultation with Strategic Partnership Division, contribute to fund-raising including development of new project proposals for use in resource generation.
Evidence-based Advocacy and Communication:
  • Support the Gender and Humanitarian Advisor in engagement and representation in policy debates relevant to gender and humanitarian action, including participation in global knowledge events.
  • Advocate on behalf of UN Women and its mandate to help raise awareness and to stimulate action to advance gender equality and women's rights within humanitarian contexts by, inter alia, forming strategic partnerships with government, UN agencies, NGOs, academia, media and the private sector.
  • Ensure information exchange on crosscutting themes within UN Women, including between the Programme Support and Policy Divisions, in particular the Peace and Security and the Ending Violence Against Women Clusters, the geo sections, regional and country offices and other thematic sections.
  • As designated, actively participate in country level programming processes where UN Women has presence, ensuring that UN Women is strategically placed within UN humanitarian context. Assist the RC/HC/HCT system to secure expertise that will ensure commitment, quality control and resources for gender equality programming.
Capacity Building and Knowledge Management:
  • Collect and disseminate best practices on gender equality programming in humanitarian situations and contribute to the knowledge management efforts of the Humanitarian Unit.
  • Support the development and dissemination of gender-sensitive tools and methodologies for humanitarian actions at the country level.
  • Contribute and facilitate  to the development and maintenance of global, regional and national knowledge networks and practices on mainstreaming gender into humanitarian context.
  • Contribute to the development of a knowledge management system for the Unit
  • Support country staff capacity development to engage in post-disaster needs assessments and in supporting humanitarian coordination and responses from a gender perspective
  • Contribute to and develop UN Women knowledge products and publications related to disaster risk reduction, humanitarian response and early recovery.
Impact of Results:

The functioning of the newly-established Humanitarian Unit impacts directly on changing humanitarian practices to benefit women and girls; which takes place through enhancing coordination and accountability for gender mainstreaming in humanitarian action, promoting consistency and sustainability in addressing gender equality concerns, and strengthening capacity and effectiveness of UN Women field offices together with national entities and civil society.

The Programme Specialist will impact on the effectiveness of the Unit, by freeing up the Humanitarian Action Advisor to allow him/her to develop and articulate appropriate humanitarian strategies. The Programme Specialist will also impact UN Women`s objectives on humanitarian actions by supporting the Humanitarian Action Advisor.


Core values and Guiding principles:
  • Integrity: Demonstrate consistency in upholding and promoting the values of UN Women in actions and decisions, in line with the UN Code of Conduct.
  • Professionalism: Demonstrate professional competence and expert knowledge of the pertinent substantive areas of work.
  • Cultural Sensitivity and Valuing Diversity: Demonstrate an appreciation of the multicultural nature of the organization and the diversity of its staff. Demonstrate an international outlook, appreciating difference in values and learning from cultural diversity.
Core Competencies:
  • Ethics and Values: Demonstrate and safeguard ethics and integrity
  • Organizational Awareness: Demonstrate corporate knowledge and sound judgment
  • Development and Innovation: Take charge of self-development and take initiative
  • Work in teams: Demonstrate ability to work in a multicultural, multi ethnic environment and to maintain effective working relations with people of different national and cultural backgrounds.
  • Communicating and Information Sharing: Facilitate and encourage open communication and strive for effective communication
  • Self-management and Emotional Intelligence: Stay composed and positive even in difficult moments, handle tense situations with diplomacy and tact, and have a consistent behavior towards others.
  • Conflict Management: Surface conflicts and address them proactively acknowledging different feelings and views and directing energy towards a mutually acceptable solution.
  • Continuous Learning and Knowledge Sharing: Encourage learning and sharing of knowledge.
  • Appropriate and Transparent Decision Making:  Demonstrate informed and transparent decision making
Functional Competencies:
  • Substantive knowledge and experience related to current policies and practices in the fields of gender equality and humanitarian action including disaster risk reduction, disaster preparedness, disaster response management and early recovery.
  • Strong communications skills, with proven expertise in writing cogent and convincing policy and programme documents.
  • Proven analytical and problem solving skills.
  • Good planning, goal-setting and prioritization skills.
  • Effectiveness in establishing and fostering good relations with government counterparts, UN agencies, donors, and NGO partners.
  • Ability to leverage information technology, executive information systems, management techniques and tools for optimal office performance.

Required Skills and Experience

  • Master’s degree or equivalent in humanitarian, disaster management or development-related disciplines, gender issues, public policy or other social science fields.
  • Minimum of seven years of progressively responsible experience in management of humanitarian programming preferably in disaster/conflict and post-disaster/conflict settings and gender equality
  • Experience in inter-agency coordination.
  • Experience working with governments, donors and civil society organisations at the international and field levels.
  • Familiarity and experience with humanitarian system coordination and results-based management would be an asset.


  • Written and oral proficiency in English is required
  • Knowledge of French or Spanish and or other UN working languages is an asset
  • All applications must include (as an attachment) the completed and signed (digital signatures not accepted) UN Women Personal History form (P-11) which can be downloaded from http://www.unwomen.org/about-us/employment
  • Kindly note that the system will only allow one attachment. Applications without the completed UN Women P-11 form will be treated as incomplete and will not be considered for further assessment

In July 2010, the United Nations General Assembly created UN Women, the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women. The creation of UN Women came about as part of the UN reform agenda, bringing together resources and mandates for greater impact. It merges and builds on the important work of four previously distinct parts of the UN system (DAW, OSAGI, INSTRAW and UNIFEM), which focused exclusively on gender equality and women's empowerment.

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